September 28, 2021
Pride is the mother of all sins. God says a great deal about arrogance in the Scripture because we need to understand its source and effects. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" is a truth that is repeated three times in the Bible. It is a foundational sin, a default posture of our thinking, that most of us will deal with until we see Him face to face.
A PROUD KING
Herod was in a long line of kings who operated by pride. He was frustrated that the church was growing and that he couldn't stop it. Acts, Chapter 12, records Peter's miraculous, angelic deliverance from prison, under Herod's watch. Herod was so frustrated by this miracle that he had the guards executed.
He went to Caesarea (a city he had built like so many others) to find some relief. While there, he delivered an address, and here was the result.
On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept crying out, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. (Acts 12:21-23)
PRIDE TAKES THE GLORY
Herod was more than willing to absorb every bit of praise anyone would give him, for humanistic attention feeds pride. If we are wrapped up in ourselves, we love to hear people speak of how wonderful we are.
There's nothing wrong with honest compliments. But the humble man knows that everything he has and is comes from God, and he gladly deflects the praise upward.
PRIDE IS ALWAYS JUDGED BY GOD
We can get away with it for a while, but God hates pride because it is the antithesis of the foundational attitude in His kingdom. In His kingdom, there is one King who sits on the throne and no other. He is the Creator of all, and everything around Him that has ever been comes from Him. The natural bent of man misses this.
God brought a severe judgment on Herod, for Herod was a leader who continually operated in his own hubris. What Herod didn't realize was that God was the Creator. Herod was merely a man, created by God. And God is the giver, and taker, of life.
Where is pride creeping up in your life? It is wise to inspect your heart often and thoroughly, for pride will keep you from what God has destined. When pride is repented of, you will find the sweet freedom of letting God be God as you yield that position to Him alone.
Father, search my heart. Show me every bit of pride that lurks there. Help me to admit it and pray for the cleansing that only you can bring. Help me to remember that everything is from you and for You. Use me for Your purposes, Lord, but let me never steal Your glory.
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